PENNSYLVANIA: 4/22 (158 delegates)
It looks like the Philly Dem Committee may stay out of the Dem primary and not endorse either candidate; that's good news for Obama as most of the Dem establishment in the state has been siding with Clinton. Of course, "For Clinton and Obama, a City Committee endorsement would probably carry little weight because swaying voters in a presidential race is difficult. The only practical advantage, political consultant Larry Ceisler said, might be logistical, in that the Democratic machinery might 'help get people to the polls, make sure there is no trouble at the polls, and be the eyes and ears on the ground.'
"That is probably not enough to make either campaign press too hard for an endorsement, which goes well with the sentiment voiced this week by ward leaders."
Some other notes from NBC/NJ's Matthew Berger: Rendell told the Clinton campaign to hold off on visiting Pittsburgh until they had garnered the endorsements of both Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato. His heavy campaigning for Clinton has angered some Republicans who say he isn't spending enough time on state issues and Democrats who say he isn't doing enough to elect Democrats to the state legislature.
Pennsylvania is 30 percent Catholic, and Obama is planning small roundtable meetings with Catholic voters to focus on economy, jobs and healthcare issues, as well as play down the Rev. Jeremiah Wright issue. "Clinton backers Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. last week wrote a letter to Pennsylvania Catholics emphasizing her plans on health care, mortgage foreclosures and fuel costs."
NORTH CAROLINA: 5/6 (115 delegates)
Some notes from NBC/NJ's Carrie Dann: Today kicks off a three-day Clinton blitz that will see all three members of the former First Family in the Tar Heel State between now and Saturday. Today, Hillary Clinton hits Raleigh, Winston-Salem, and Fayetteville; tomorrow, Bill Clinton visits Greensboro and points west in a marathon five-stop day; and Saturday, Chelsea Clinton joins former senator John Edwards in addressing the state's Young Democrats organization. Gone are the days of local speculation that Hillary would be writing off North Carolina; reporters now are too busy Mapquesting the trip between Kannapolis and Salisbury and praying that they still have time to profile their third Republican gubernatorial candidate this week.
The News & Observer leads its coverage of Obama's Greensboro stop yesterday with the senator's criticism of Clinton's lobbying ties while the Winston-Salem Journal tops its story with Obama's slams on John McCain's economic policy.
Per the Winston-Salem Journal's Trail Mix blog, Obama mentioned McCain's name eight times in his speech yesterday, Bush's 10 times, and Hillary Clinton's only twice.
The North Carolina Democratic Party has officially moved the date of this year's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner to May 2nd, four days before the state's primary contest. The Party hopes that both of its presidential candidates will attend the fundraising event, although neither has formally accepted the invitation yet.
Check out this oh-so-interesting quote from Obama, who told local reporters in Greensboro yesterday that he has personally experienced racial discrimination but nothing that has made him "angry or bitter." "'The kinds of experience that I have are the ones that are, I think, shared by a number of other folks: security guards following you around when you're shopping, being stopped when you're going the speed limit and being questioned,' said the senator, per the Greensboro News and Record, 'But nothing that I think would justify me being particularly angry or bitter.'"
"Martin Luther King Jr. was a REPUBLICAN." That's the wording emblazoned on a new highway billboard that's attracting much attention and debate. The message, sponsored by the National Black Republican Association, prompted the state's Republican Party Chairman to admit that he "almost broke my neck trying to look at it." He later applauded the sentiment but conceded that "I would suspect Dr. King would be a Democrat today."
Yesterday, "A federal judge Wednesday struck down part of a state law that would have given the state Republican and Democratic parties -- and no one else -- party preference lists of voters who participated in the January presidential primaries. State Elections Director Chris Thomas said there are no plans to appeal the decision. He said the state would not give the lists to anyone, including the state Republican and Democratic parties, even if they file a Freedom of Information Act request.
"The decision was closely watched by political observers, especially Democratic supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, who have been pushing for a do-over nominating contest in Michigan. One theory went that if Edmunds threw out any portion of the law, it might invalidate the entire primary and spark calls for a second Democratic election of some sort. Edmunds said she was not voiding the primary results."